… that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)
St Paul speaks about our union with Christ in glowing terms: that Christ may be glorified in us and we in Him. When we are united with Christ, we share in the life of the Holy Trinity. We are in God and God is in us. Archimandrite Aimilianos rejoices in this, our salvation:
“And when I receive Christ, when I see Him, I feast my eyes on the living God and rejoice in Him. Even in my state of spiritual decay, even in my sin, in the abyss into which I’ve fallen, in the dark cloud that overshadows me, in my eternal midnight, I can still remember that the apostles have assured me that they saw the living Christ. Thus Christ lives, he who is my life lives, and, at any moment, with one ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me,’ that life can become mine, and, dead as I was, I can be filled to bursting with life.” (THE WAY OF THE SPIRIT, p 171)
God is actively seeking union with us and has prepared the way to make this salvation possible in Christ. That salvation can happen in an instant (as with the Wise Thief) or it may take a life time of seeking God as we fall away at moments and then seek to return to God in repentance. Whether immediate or long term, the end is the same: we abide with Christ in heaven and He abides in us. We receive the fullness of Christ – all that He is:
“… Jesus Christ is described in a plethora of images: the Prophet, the King, the Messiah, the High Priest, the Lamb and the Suffering Servant, to name a few. Each of these images, and the many others, contain a vital insight into the person and work of Jesus Christ, who is himself more than any one of these particular elements.” (John Behr, THE WAY TO NICEA, p 74)
Christ does not withhold Himself from us.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)